Sunday, August 20, 2006

Joe Lieberman is a growing cancer on the Democratic Party

Joe Lieberman from Connecticut is from all stories, really a rather nice guy. Unfortunately, he is too nice to make enemies of powerful people he may want to use later on for his own purposes. So he does them favors.

The problem is, those powerful people have all been Republicans, lobbyists or single issue pressure groups for the last decade or so. He isn't accountahle to those who elected him. He is accountable to those powerful people. He describes this as catering to his own conscience and "working to get things done by working with both sides." His concept of getting things done is voting so that he is on the winning side in passing legislation, mo matter how bad the legislation is. It is clear that he sees no difference between the Democratic Party which has sent him to Washington to represent them, and the Republicans who are the current powerful men in the Senate. Over at MyDD Chris Stoller writes:
"The pervasive lack of accountability among Democrats is a real weakness for progressives, and the fact that there is some measure of accountability in the form of potential primary challenges means that there will be a behavioral change on the part of many members of Congress. No longer will they be able to listen to former staffers turned lobbyists, because they know that Lieberman's example could be their own. No longer can they take for granted their safety in safe districts, because Donna Edwards isn't the only principled and connected progressive around. And some of the tools and methodologies we're developing can be used to effectively damage Republican candidates, as we saw with the internet's mauling of George Allen after his macaca comments. Accountabiliy works all around."
So when Lieberman was defeated in the Connecticut Democratic Primary by the newcomer Ned Lamont who (successfully) charged that he was too close to the incompetent President George W. Bush, he has moved to an independent run in the general election.

He is doing this by using the Republican side of all the issues that matter, especially our position in Iraq and with Isreal. This has become very obvious, since he has a lead in the polls for the general election, but it is made up mostly of Republican voters.

This causes two problems. Connecticut is a strong Democratic-leaning state. The Republican candidate there has no chance of election at all, which is demonstrated by the fact that the Republican Party is in fact actively campaigning for Lieberman rather than for their own candidate. With Lieberman running, there is a strong likelihood that there will be a significant turnout of Republicans to vote for Joe, where as the Republican candidate will cause them to sit at home and not bother. Since three Republican House members are facing a strong likelihood of being defeated (thus giving the Democrats 20% of the 15 seats needed to take control of the House) that turnout could defeat the Democratic effort to gain control of the House. Self-centered Joe does not care. He just wants to keep his fancy office on the Hill.

But what if the Democrats get 50 seats in the Senate, plus Joe. With his advantages as an incumbant and the Republicans overwhelmingly votig for him, the Republicans may lose the Senate Majority except when they really need it. Joe has promised to caucus with the Democrats. But he hasn't promised to vote with them. When it comes to approving another right-wing anti-abortion Supreme Court Justice, Joe will vote for him, and Cheney will break the tie. America loses. The Democrats lose. Only the wacked out right-wing wins by electing Joe Lieberman.

When it comes to investigating Haliburton and others for war-profiteering, Joe has always voted for the big companies. He voted, for example, for the bankruptcy bill to support the big banks gouging the public with credit card debt. Joe will not vote with the Democrats to investigate war-profiteers.

Joe Lieberman, for all his smiles and friendliness, is an on-going and growing cancer on the Democratic Party. With him in the Senate as an independent, the Republicans retain effective control over the Senate.

Add that to the strong possibility that he will cost the Democrats the House come November, and it is clear. The Democrats need cancer surgery to survive. They need to excise Joe Lieberman.

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